By: Dominic Tiano | Follow me on Twitter @dominictiano
I’ll begin with two birthday mentions for this week: Oskar Jellvik turns 19 on Tuesday, and Roman Bychkov turns 21 on Thursday.
The Olympic Games have started, and Peter Cehlarik is on his journey to hopefully win a medal with Slovakia at the Beijing Games. More importantly, it could be a step to returning to the National Hockey League. A great showing at the games could be just what he needs to make it back to North America.
But you could almost safely bet your mortgage it won’t be with the Boston Bruins. That said, the Bruins would also benefit from a great showing for Cehlarik, even with the knowledge that he probably won’t put on the Spoked B.
Cehlarik is under contract with Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League until the end of this KHL season. The Bruins and Cehlarik can hope for an excellent showing and that some team may be interested in trading for his rights, even if he’s just a piece in a more significant trade. (a wrinkle was thrown in as I was writing this, and rather than start over…. you’ll see)
However, there is some confusion regarding KHL players and their ability to come over to North America once their KHL season is over. First off, Cehlarik is a restricted free agent, so unlike David Krejci and his situation, Cehlarik would not need to clear waivers to return to North America.
Here’s where it gets tricky. KHL contracts expire on April 30th, 2022, and while the NHL and KHL don’t have a transfer agreement, they do have an understanding that they will not sign each other’s players that have a valid contract. However, many KHL contracts stipulate that if a player is selected to represent Russia at the World Hockey Championships, they are contractually obligated to do so. But Cehlarik is not Russian, and at the time of writing this, I do not know whether Cehlarik has the same clause. Why would the KHL demand this from a player that will represent a different country? I don’t know.
If a team did acquire his rights, they could then file an International Transfer Card with the Slovakia Ice Hockey Federation. It’s the same process the Bruins went through when they brought Carl Soderberg over from Sweden. Much like the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation did with Soderberg; the Slovakia Federation could do the same with Cehlarik with hopes of having him and the World Championships and deny the transfer.
If that is the situation, just as the Bruins did with Soderberg, the acquiring team could go to the IIHF and get the transfer approved – and they likely would. In the end, there is a process that could see Cehlarik back in the NHL before this season ends, but it’s not a guarantee. And we’ll see if that has any value around the league. The IIHF could still have hurt feelings over the NHL not going to the Olympics, so there is no guarantee on how they would proceed.
But as I wrote this, another turn of events raises questions.
That doesn’t affect KHL contract expiry dates. But would the KHL allow players under contract to seek a team in North America? This also affects Roman Bychkov, who could at best sign an AHL deal to finish his season with the Providence Bruins. Bychkov’s KHL contract expires at the end of the KHL season.
A lot of questions will be raised, and answers won’t come immediately.
INSERT STAT CHART HERE
Providence Bruins Player Stats
Providence Bruins Goalie Stats
Maine Mariners Stats
Coming Up This Week:
Note: Cehlarik’s schedule is with Slovakia at the Olympic Games.
|CEHLARIK||Vs FIN||Vs SWE||Vs LAT|
|ARNESSON||At BRY||At LUL|
|MANTYKIVI||Vs JUK||At HPK||Vs TAP|
|GASSEAU||Vs T C||Vs T C|
|LANGENBRUNNER||Vs T C||Vs T C|
|KUNTAR||Vs N E||At CON|
|BEECHER||Vs M S||At M S|
|LOHREI||At MIN||At MIN|
|SCHMALTZ||Vs COL||Vs COL|
|DURAN||Vs B U|
|OLSON||At DEN||At DEN|
|MCFAUL||Vs PCT||Vs QUI|
|GALLAGHER||Vs HAR||At PRO|
|HARRISON||At OTT||Vs PBO|
|MAST||Vs GUE||At SOO||At SOO|
|LYSELL||At KEL||At PG||At PG|
|SVEDEBACK||Vs WAT||Vs C R|
AROUND THE GLOBE
Mason Lohrei is sizzling, currently riding a 6-game point streak on two goals and eight assists. He has points in 11 of his last 16 games on two goals and 15 assists and is just 1 point shy of being a point-per-game player as a freshman. He is second on Ohio State in points and leads his team in assists by a wide margin. He is tied for points by a defenceman in the NCAA and third among first-year students.
Oskar Jellvik was held off the score sheet on Friday, but he bounced back on Saturday with two goals – including the game-winner 42 seconds into overtime – and an assist and help his team remain undefeated in regulation in the J20 Top-10. In 8 Top-10 league games, Jellvik has seven goals -tied for the top spot – and 12 points, good for third in the Top-10. I have been on the Jellvik bandwagon since the start of the season and look forward to seeing how he transitions to Boston College next season.
After ending a 9-game goalless draught, Brett Harrison scored in back-to-back games for the first time since December 10-12. He had a modest 4-game point streak (2-goals, 2-assists) come to an end Saturday. It would appear that the deals the Oshawa Generals made around the trade deadline that affected his ice time and oft movement down to the second line have affected his production.
I feel for Roman Bychkov, whose season came to an end when the KHL canceled the rest of their regular season. He is without a contract for next season, and I hope the Bruins can find a way to bring him to North America for the remainder of the season on an AHL contract. He’s not flashy, but he was finding his niche as a shutdown defender. And every team needs them. However, there is no word yet out of Russia on whether this move affects the VHL (Russia’s equivalent to the AHL), but that would appear to be the likeliest option for Bychkov.
After not going more than one game without a point this season, Fabian Lysell is pointless in his last three games. He is still tied for the team lead in points despite playing in 11 fewer games. Vancouver has lost six consecutive games and has a minus-32 goal differential. Somewhat surprisingly, Lysell himself is a plus-11.
According to the Sarnia Sting, Ryan Mast will be out of action “week to week with a lower-body injury.” As reported here last week, I believe it is his right ankle.